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K'taka polls: 37% voting till 1 pm

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

About 37 per cent of the voters had exercised their franchise till 1 pm in the single-phase Assembly election today.

Voting for the fiercely fought polls began at 7 am and continued on a moderate to brisk note, poll officials said.

According to the state electoral authorities, at 1 pm, the highest of 47 per cent voting was recorded in district, while Bengaluru urban had registered the lowest turnout of 28 per cent.

The officials said moderate to brisk polling was reported in the early hours from all over the state, with voters turning up in large numbers in Bengaluru city.

The weather was pleasant with rains last evening bringing down the temperatures.

A number of senior citizens were seen standing in the queue at various polling stations.

State BJP and the party's ministerial candidate, B S Yeddyurappa, G Parameshwara and former H D Deve Gowda, along with wife Chennamma, were among the first to cast their votes at Shikaripura in Shivamogga, Yaggere in Tumakuru and Paduvalahippe in district respectively.

While Minister Siddaramaiah, along with son Yatindra, cast his vote around 1 pm in his native Siddaramanahundi under the Varuna constituency in Mysuru, state JD(S) chief and former H D and his wife cast their votes at Ketaganahalli in Ramanagara.

Siddaramaiah, who offered prayers at the local temple before casting his vote, is contesting from neighbouring Chamundeshwari and Badami in Bagalkote district of north Karnataka, while his son is contesting from Varuna, from where the had contested and won in 2008 and 2013.

Siddaramaiah's political rivals are saying the chief minister decided to also contest from Badami, a constituency dominated by Kurubas, the community he belongs to, as Chamundeshwari will not be easy for him.

"My son Dr & I have cast our vote in Varuna today. voters as always will display political maturity & will begin a change that our country needs the most. Please go out & vote for an inclusive & peaceful Karnataka. #KarnatakaVoting (sic)," the chief minister tweeted after casting his vote.

Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, the 111-year-old seer of a prominent Lingayat seminary, Siddhaganga Mutt, also cast his vote at a booth near the mutt premises.

Former Rahul Dravid, who is the state election icon, another former Anil Kumble, actors and as also the scion of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, were among the early voters.

Technical glitches in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) delayed polling at several places in Bengaluru.

In one of the most bitter poll battles Karnataka has ever seen, the ruling and the BJP have gone all out to woo the voters during their acrimonious campaigning that saw the big guns of both the parties crisscross the southern state.

Polling is being held for 222 of the 224 Assembly seats, in a three-cornered contest between the Congress, BJP and Deve Gowda's JD(S).

Election for the Jayanagara seat in Bengaluru has been countermanded, following the death of the BJP candidate and sitting MLA, B N Vijaykumar.

The (EC) has also deferred the polls at Rajarajeswari Nagar to May 28, after a massive row erupted over a large number of voter ID cards being found from an apartment in the constituency.

Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray -- over 2,400 men and and over 200 women.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 15:45 IST